Thursday 2nd February 2012

100 Violons Tziganes

Theatre de l’Etang, St Estève


The Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra, known worldwide  as The 100 Gypsy Violins,  is the world’s largest gypsy symphony Orchestra, with over 100 violins,  violas,  cellos, double basses, clarinets and  cimbaloms.

The band was founded in 1985, when Sándor Járóka,  Hungary’s most famous “primas” (gypsy soloist) died. Gypsy musicians from all around came to his funeral with their instruments on a cold and rainy day to say good bye to their spiritual chief.  After the ceremony they begin to play together regularly and the orchestra was born out of that one improvised moment.

The members are Hungary’s best gypsy musicians, the Berki, Boross, Lakatos, Lendvai Csocsi families – sons, fathers, grandfathers are members of the orchestra – are the cream of the Hungarian gypsy musician dynasties. Their repertoire consists of Hungarian ’csárdás’ as well, they play folk music but also some classical compositions like the Hungarian Dances by Brahms, Hungarian Rhapsodies by Liszt and other compositions by Strauss.

When more than 100 musicians step onto the stage in colourful traditional dress and start to play,  with unbelievable energy, harmony, quick changes of rhythm and extraordinary variations, as they’ve been playing for 30 years, the atmosphere is amazing.

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